As we begin the school year, I have been preparing Primary English Vocabulary lists for my lower primary students. The vocabulary section of examination papers have been steadily getting more challenging, even for lower primary students. Aside from the vocabulary sections of the examination papers, having a rich English vocabulary is essential for all students.

Why is having a good vocabulary important?

  1. It gives your child the ability to express his or her ideas clearly in spoken (oral) or written (composition) form. Many times students have great ideas during the planning stage of their composition. However, when written down, these ideas lack vivid details and descriptions.
  2. It helps your child understand what he or she is reading. Vocabulary is the foundation of the Comprehension Open- ended and Vocabulary Cloze sections. Many times, passages are taken from books or newspapers that have a certain style of writing. Understanding the passages is the key to being able to answer all types of questions, especially inferential ones.

Needless to say, the younger a child starts to build his or her vocabulary, the more chances he or she has to succeed in upper primary for English.

Below is the list that I have prepared for my Primary 4 students for January. These lists can be easily prepared at home. As we work on the Top School Papers in class, I have taken the vocabulary words from the papers.

In Primary 3 and 4, vocabulary words are usually taken from idioms, similes and phrasal verbs. Students need to be able to distinguish words which have similar meanings with precision. Example, onlookers, spectators, witnesses.

Primary 4 English Vocabulary List from MGS SA1

1) troop – a group of soldiers

2) troupe – a group of dancers, actors or entertainers

3) squad – a small group of people trained to work together as a unit

4) diligently – in a way that shows care and conscientiousness in one’s work or duties.

5) meticulously – in a way that shows great attention to detail; very thoroughly

6) responsive – reacting quickly and positively

7) pull through – get through an illness or other dangerous or difficult situation

8) burden – a heavy load/ a difficulty

9) dampen – to make feelings of excitement less strong

10) retain – to keep or continue to have something

11) detain – to force someone officially (by law) to stay in one place

Primary 4 English Vocabulary List from Nan Hua Primary School SA1

1) chide – scold or rebuke

2) interrogate – ask questions closely, aggressively, or formally

3) commend – to formally praise someone or something

4) a board (of) – a group of people who control and direct a company

5) onlookers – someone who watches something in a public place but is not involved in it

6) spectators – a person who watches a show, game, or other event

7) witness – a person who sees an event, typically a crime or accident, take place

8) called off – postpone

9) carry out – to complete a job or activity

10) turn down – to reject or refuse something

11) on the dot – exactly on time

12) a dead duck – no chance to succeed

13) over one’s head – beyond someone’s ability to understand

14) breaking one’s back – to put a great deal of effort into something

Check the other articles from this P4 Paper 2 section.

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